2023 Gator Computing Program

2023 Program updates will be coming soon!

Eligible students will be entering grade 9, 10 or 11.


The Gator Computing Program is a two-week, non-residential program for students entering 9th, 10th and 11th grade who are interested in learning more about computers and computing applications, and how they impact society, research, and the global economy.  Gator Computing Program participants meet and learn from UF faculty in engineering, social sciences, medicine, and biotechnology disciplines, as well as university staff with expertise in emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, augmented reality, and VR. 

Students will also learn the basics of programming and how to use computational tools to solve problems. The Gator Computing Program includes tours of campus laboratories for a close-up view of a world-leading research environment. GCP participants also tour the UF Data Center, home the HiPerGator, the state of Florida’s first supercomputer.

Important Information: Students must make a commitment to attend and participate in the entire program.  Please confirm no other academic, school-related, sports, or family events will conflict with the program dates.

Program Cost: $600 which includes lunch and snacks, staffing and supervision, program-related fieldtrips, social activities, insurance (primary or excess depending upon parent coverage), and program-themed supplies. Transportation to and from UF campus is the responsibility of the family.

All interested and qualified students are encouraged to apply regardless of ability to pay.  Limited, need-based scholarships are available for students attending a Florida high school.  See website for details.

What GCP Offers

The Gator Computing Program is for high school students interested in learning more about the role of computers in society, research, and the economy. If you come to the Gator Computing Program, you will get the opportunity to:

  • Meet with UF faculty from the engineering, social sciences, medical research, and biotechnology disciplines
  • Use emerging technologies, such as 3-D printing and Virtual Reality
  • Learn about the importance of computing in a variety of fields
  • Get experience using computational tools to solve problems
  • Tour of campus laboratories for an up-close view of the scientific environment
  • Tour of the UF Data Center, home to HiPerGator, the most powerful computer at a U.S. Public University
  • Work on project teams and use tools introduced to them to solve real world problems

Don’t take our word for it!  Here’s what last year’s participants had to say:

“This program has broadened my mind about the world of computing. Computing is not limited to computers and programming but has large applications to biology, medical fields, astronomy, material science, physics, pathogens, and much more. I am much more interested in computing and am seriously considering computing in college. The program itself was formatted greatly. I will definitely recommend this to my friends at school. Thanks for the extraordinary experience!”

“I loved the GCP. The staff was amazing. The tours were even better and the activities were engaging. I met amazing people that I'm now glad to call my friends. I'm now also really interested in going to UF!”

More information about GCP (including past programs!) is also avaliable on the UF Research Computings website: https://www.rc.ufl.edu/about/gcp/

Application Requirements for GCP

Students interested in the Gator Computing Program must create an account in our online application portal in order to apply for any student programs offered by UF CPET. The online application portal is www.ufcpet.smapply.us and will open on January 16th.  All components are submitted using the online application process unless noted.  After all the below components of the application are completed, student must log back into their account and SUBMIT their application.

A GCP Application consists of the following:

User Information: Provide applicant and parent/guardian contact information.

Application Form:  Additional information as well as answering two writing prompts.  The two writing prompts are as follows (each is 300- 500 words):

  • Prompt 1: What is your favorite subject or activity? What do you enjoy about this subject/activity?
  • Prompt 2: Please describe an experience that made you excited or curious to learn more about a topic in science, technology, math, engineering or computer science.

Teacher Endorsement:  One online Teacher Endorsement filled out and submitted by a high-school or college-level math, science, research, or computer science teacher or mentor is required. 

  • We encourage you to ask a teacher or mentor who knows you well in a subject area you would like to pursue while you are here. We will invite this teacher or mentor to your final presentations, and request that you present your final project in their classroom.
  • Teachers/Mentors will receive an automated request from noreply@smapply.io once a student has requested an endorsement in their online application. However, we recommend that students contact their teacher prior to filling out the online request.
  • If they do not receive an email from our system, please double-check that you have their correct email address before contacting us. This is the #1 reason why teachers do not receive the endorsement form.

Financial Aid Applications can be submitted HERE

Application Deadlines & Notifications

The application deadline is March 15th.  If the program is not filled during the first round of application review, applications will be reviewed and students will be notified of decisions every two weeks.

Once the first round of applications is received, they are reviewed by our Selection Committee.  This review process can take 3 or more weeks, so please be patient.  Each member of our committee carefully reads each application, essay, and teacher endorsement we receive.  This process takes time.  Frequent calls can slow this process.  Once we have reached a decision, we will send out an email through our online application portal.  Notifications regarding your account and application progress will come from noreply@smapply.io. Please add this address to your email safe senders list, address book, or contact list.

Please note that applicants, not their parents, receive all correspondence from our office.  It is the student’s responsibility to provide a working email address and check that email address regularly for communication from UF CPET.  Failure to respond to email in a timely manner may result in the student being placed on the wait list. At any time applicants and parent “collaborators” may check on acceptance status in the on-line portal.

The three possible decisions are as follows:  invited to attend, waitlist, or not invited.